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Daily Update: The Rock at Raw, Pete Dunne, Payback

THE ROUND-UP

The Latest from the F4W Staff

NEWS

AUDIO

We're looking for reports on the Saturday night WWE house show in Bakersfield, tonight's Smackdown show in San Diego as well as the non-Raw stuff from the Staples Center in Los Angeles tonight to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

The only thing announced for Raw is Brock Lesnar scheduled for the show and Big Show vs. Braun Strowman is the only match announced. 

Smackdown and 205 Live will be taped on Tuesday in Ontario, CA. Announced for the show is a Battle Royal for the WrestleMania title shot, which is some sort of an angle situation, Nikki Bella vs. Natalya falls count anywhere and Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss for the women's title.

NXT will be taped at the University of Central Florida Gym on Wednesday night. This will be al the shows leading into WrestleMania, so we should have the full Takeover card on Wednesday night. 

There will be a Raw house show on Wednesday night from Dusseldorf, Germany and we're looking for reports on the show. 


FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 2/13/2017: Bray Wyatt's overdue WWE Championship win 

From nearly the moment The Wyatt Family debuted on the main roster, Bray Wyatt's place as a future WWE Champion seemed almost certain. The only surprising thing about Wyatt capturing the title is that it took until Sunday night at the Elimination Chamber, where he was finally presented as the force that WWE has all too often failed to portray him as over the last three-plus years... Subscribers click here to continue.



WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: February 20, 2017: WWE financials, death of Chavo Guerrero, more 

An update on the WWE's WrestleMania plans and then two PPV's leading to WrestleMania is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We update the situation with the Seth Rollins vs. HHH proposed match, new matches that have changed due to injuries, update injured talent and a new proposed championship match on the Mania show, as well as more on different planned matches.

We also look at plans for both Elimination Chamber and Fast Lane.

We've got full coverage of the New Beginning in Sapporo show headlined by Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki, with match-by-match coverage with star ratings, poll results and business notes. We look at the build up angle and the story behind the main event, and this week's show in Osaka.

We look at the big coup by WWE Studios working with Dwayne Johnson, a current WWE star being talked about for doing MMA, Kurt Angle talks wrestling in WWE, NXT Takeover Orlando notes, and lots of thoughts on the XFL documentary and key points that were not in.

We also have more WWE WrestleMania week plans, more on Mike Adamle and his battle against dementia and his background, update on a lot of WWE injuries, a surprise coach at the Performance Center and update on where that come from, and another WWE movie project.

We also have tons of notes on the wrestlers brought to the Performance Center this past week as well as other athletes for tryouts, including who they are and their backgrounds including some very unique prospects. We also look at the most-watched shows of the past week on the network as well as a rundown of all the WWE and NXT arena events this past week with both highlights and business notes.


ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to Dave Meltzer, or by using PayPal directing funds to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com
 
Rates in the United States are $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to moonsault@mediaplusint.com. For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52. If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.)

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can choose one free classic issue, or two free classic issues with a 40-issue subscription.

WON BACK ISSUE: January 24, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WCW Souled Out review, WCW turmoil, more 

The most tumultuous four-day period in the recent history of World Championship Wrestling started with WCW getting the word that an injury would cause champion and main eventer Bret Hart to miss the Souled Out PPV. As dominos starting falling one by one, it ended with a new booker, the crowning of a new champion who asked to be released from his contract anyway, and his vacating the title voluntarily some 18 hours later and possibly with several wrestlers leaving the company... Subscribers click here to continue.


MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight covering Raw and the latest news. You can send questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

They will be filming scenes for the movie "Fighting With My Family" after Raw goes off the air which is just after 8:10 p.m. local time at the Staples Center. I don't know if this is part of the filming, and it probably is, but they are doing a Thea Trinidad vs. Tessa Blanchard match tonight. Trinidad has a role in the movie and Blanchard is the stunt double for Florence Pugh, who plays Paige in the movie. As noted earlier today, Dwayne Johnson is in the building. We haven't had confirmation of him being on the show tonight one way or another but a few hours ago people backstage thought he would be if he wants to be, but he said he would be coming out before the crowd at 4:45 p.m., which means 15 minutes before Raw starts that may indicate only being live for the fans in attendance. No word on Chris Jericho, who was advertised to return tonight and is also advertised for the Germany tour.

The Raw crew leaves right after the show for Dusseldorf, Germany for a four-show tour that starts on Wednesday.

A bunch of new names have been announced for Wrestlecon in Orlando over WrestleMania weekend. Among the names are Lex Luger, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Lashley, Stan Hansen, Veda Scott, Kikutaro, Torito, Ivelisse, Molly Holly, Brian Hebner, Sonjay Dutt, Sid Vicious, Iron Sheik and Armando Estrada.

Pete Dunne pulled out of the Preston City Wrestling shows on 2/25 and 2/26. He claimed it was due to "insensitive comments from the promoter." There was controversy with the promoter's arguing with fans who complained to him that this weekend's shows, the Kris Travis tournament isn't a benefit show for Travis, a popular and talented wrestler who died of cancer. Preston City did a benefit show for Travis in 2015. A few weeks ago, after the comments were made, Dunne said he'd donate his purse to a local cancer charity. He pulled out today but said he would still donate money to the charity. He also said that he was supposed to face Pentagon Jr. on the Saturday show in the first round of the tournament, but would now face him for Revolution Pro in Portsmouth on Friday night. Given this was to be taped for DVD release, I'm not sure how he'd have been able to be in the tournament in the first place but he claimed this had nothing to do with WWE pulling him. There were people who had expected him to pull out since the tournament was being taped for DVD release.

WWE

  • It is official that the Payback PPV will take place on 4/30 in San Jose at the SAP Center. Tickets will go on sale Friday. This will be a Raw PPV.
  • Best wishes to Charles Robinson, who underwent surgery on Friday for the foot that he injured in the John Cena vs. A.J. Styles match at the Rumble. He's expected back for WrestleMania. 
  • Starting after WrestleMania, ProSieben MAXX in Germany will start airing Raw on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. and Smackdown on Thursday night at 10 p.m. It had been airing on Thursday nights and Friday nights. 
  • Carsten Schaefer, who has been the WWE's German TV announcer for almost 30 years, will be stepping down as host of the German language version of Raw. He will continue to work with Calvin Knie and Tim Haber on the big four PPV broadcasts. (thanks to Moonsault.de)
  • WWE will have a Smackdown live event on 10/21 in Santiago, Chile, so they will probably be doing a few shows in South America in late October. (thanks to Pablo Bustamante)
  • Armando Montalvo, the obsessed Lita fan who was shot in front of the Performance Center by police after he kept banging on the glass door and came at officers threatening, was denied bail. In court, he tried to claim he was the victim because he was shot. Montalvo's father noted that he was mentally ill and without medication, tends to have outbursts. He was arrested again last month outside a bar, and charged with battery. He took a vacuum hose and put one end in his pants and the other up a woman's skirt, and was arrested and held with no bond. The judge ruled he had to stay in jail until his trial.

UFC / MMA

  • The latest UFC departure is Kyoji Horiguchi, whose contract expired and he got an offer from Rizin, where he starts on 4/16 at the Yokohama Arena show. UFC would not match the offer and he's gone. Horiguchi is coming off three wins in a row and was 7-1 in UFC with the only loss being to Demetrious Johnson, who beats everyone in that division.
  • Todd Grisham spoke to Bleacher Report's Jonathan Snowden about his UFC announcing debut and working with Vince McMahon.
  • Cezar Ferreira broke his hand on the first punch thrown last night in his fight with Elias Theodorou.
  • An injury to Chris Fields pulls him out of Friday night's Bellator main event in Belfast against Liam McGeary. Vladirmr Filipovic (8-2), who has been fighting with the Serbian Battle Championship, took the fight on short notice.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Brian Pillman Jr. is beginning a career in pro wrestling.
  • WrestleCircus iPPV from yesterday in Austin, TX before a sellout 674 fans in what we're told was the company's best show to date. The crowd was super heat for a five hour show. DJZ won three-way over Jonathan Cruz and Jervis Cottonbelly, Scott Norton b Joey Ryan, Jax Done won handicap match over KO Cox and Grand Hammer-COR, Jax Dane b Trevor Lee, Dezmond Xavier won three-way over Rey Fenix and Shane Strickland (fans were chanting five star match after this one, said to be super innovative), Donvan Dijak b Ray Rowe Scorpio Sky b Jordan Len-X to keep the Sideshow title, Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa won a Tag Team Rumble Battle Royal over The Boys, Extra Talented (Ricky Stars & Aaron Solow), Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Texas Lion Carson and Scott MacKinzie & Andy Dalton to become first tag team champions, Jeff Cobb b ACH (people were raving about this match, said to be second best of the show), Brian Cage b Zack Sabre Jr. to keep the Ringmaster title (also said to be great), Rachael Ellering won three-way over Sexy Dulce (Sexy Star) and Chelsea Green (Laurel Van Ness), Ricochet b Sammy Guveara (Guevara did a moonsault off one of the high support beams. Story was Guevara, the local star, doing everything he could to win but finally losing. Guevera flipped him off after so Ricochet used a rock bottom and people's moonsault and Ricochet teased a rematch in his post-match promo.
  • Michael Elgin's Glory Pro Wrestling show debuted yesterday in Alton, IL before 303 fans: Matt Kenway & Edvin Kudic b Barackus & Garrett Shanks, Paco Gonzalez b Kobe Durst, Ethan Page b Danny Adams, Shigehiro Irie b Curt Stallion, Jason Kincaid b Everett Connors, Myron Reed won six-way over Davey Vega, Gary Jay, Mat Fitchett, Jason Roberts and Space Monkey, Brandon Espinosa b Sean Orleans, Jake Something b Shane Sabre, Matt Riddle b Michael Elgin (I was told this was ****1/4 and worked like a New Japan main event), Jason Kincaid won four-way over Paco Gonzalez, Shigehiro Irie and Ethan Page (told this was ****) to become first champion. People like Cody Rhodes Sami Callihan and Pentagon are headed to this promotion for upcoming shows, the next one being in May. (thanks to Brian Tramel)
  • Pro Wrestling Tees is having a President's Day 15% off sale today. Pick up your F4W shirts while the savings are presidential! Use the code: PREZ

F4W / WO EMPIRE WRESTLEMANIA GROUP INFO

BUS INFO:

  • The Empire bus to WrestleMania will cost $50.00 and will be round trip from Rosen Inn at 9000 International Drive 32819 (a few blocks away from Wrestlcon).
  • The bus will leave at 4pm (time subject to change) for WrestleMania and will leave WrestleMania no later then one hour after the show. If you would like a seat email Ed at f4wfan@hotmail.com or message him on the BOARD~! for Paypal payment instructions.

DINNER INFO:

  • WHAT: Dinner at Texas de Brazil
  • WHEN: Friday March 31st
  • WHERE: 5259 International Dr Ste F1, Orlando, FL 32819 at 5 p.m. (they may open at 4:30 for us)
  • WHO: All your best empire buddies
  • DETAILS: The cost of the dinner will be $68.00 which includes the dinner, salad bar, soft drinks and tea, and dessert, tax and tip. This is a pre pay dinner and you can send payment to paypal at Srjaialaiot@yahoo.com (please send as a gift to a friend). Payments must be made by March 24th (if you wait until after that, Ed will charge an extra $5.00 for being a pain).

CONTACT INFORMATION